Lum: Father William Lum

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William D. Lunn

-priest with Diocese of Rochester, New York. Ordained 1969.  Canon lawyer. Convicted 1997 for sex abuse of 16-year-old boy.  Sent to St. Paul University Ottawa for advanced studies in Canon Law after conviction.  Recalled by Rochester’s Bishop Clark after allegations of cover-up in Rochester Diocese.

Lum’s victim, Paul Hearty, would later be twice charged with possession of child pornography:

10 August 2012:  Priest abuse victim Paul Hearty faces child porn charges


The following information is drawn form media reports (M), the 1993 Official Catholic Directory [USA] (’93) and personal information (P)

2012:  after conclusion of canonical process assigned to a life of prayer and penance, with no public ministry possible (M)

2002: on the heels of allegations of a cover-up Bishop Matthew Clark removed Father Lum from his post as a judge on the Rochester diocesan tribunal, a department of diocesan headquarters that reviews marriages, annulments and remarriages (M)

studying at Saint Paul University (P)

1997:  CONVICTED of sex abuse of 16-year-old teenage boy which transpired in 1992 (Media)

1993:  Pastor Our Lady of Mercy, Rochester, NY (Pastoral Assistant: Sister Mary Ann Brunnett ; Deacon: Robert O. Solan) (’93)


Dispositions, 2002-Present

By Diocese of Rochester
Published June 6, 2012
Cached July 7, 2012


In 2001, the Holy See issued new legislation to assist bishops in handling allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clerics. Consistent with that legislation, in 2002, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops established the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms.  The Charter provides comprehensive procedures for addressing such allegations.  It requires each diocese in the United States to initiate specific actions to create safe environments.  It also directs action in the following areas: healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors; prompt and effective response to allegations; cooperation with civil authorities; disciplining offenders; and providing for means of accountability.

Bishop Clark has been unwavering in his commitment to the principals set forth in the Charter.  As he wrote in the Catholic Courier newspaper,  “Our Diocese has sought to reach out to those who were hurt in the past by the behavior of some of our priests.  I have offered then – and I offer now – my sincere apologies on behalf of our local Church, and a personal pledge to each and every one of the victims and to all our faithful:  We will work tirelessly and do everything within our power to prevent such incidents now and in the future.  This we promise.”

Consistent with that commitment to openness and transparency, the Diocese of Rochester today publishes the names of all clerics removed from ministry since 2002.  This list summarizes the final dispositions of all claims resolved since the Charter’s in 2002. The Diocese will update this list if and when any new credible allegations of abuse are presented.

The disposition entitled “Prayer and Penance” is explained as follows:  The Essential Norms recognize that there might be cases where a priest or deacon has either admitted to a past act of abuse or has been found guilty of one, but dismissal from the clerical state does not occur.  This could happen, for instance, when a priest is seriously ill or of advanced age.  In these cases, too, he is forbidden from all public ministry and from otherwise presenting himself as a priest.  He is expected to dedicate his life to praying for victims and repenting of his past offenses.

The Diocese confirms that no priest who has harmed a minor remains in public ministry.

Victims of abuse always have a right to report to the civil authorities.  To report a case of possible sexual abuse and to receive help and guidance from the Diocese of Rochester, victims are encouraged to contact the victims’ assistance coordinator appointed by Bishop Clark:  Barbara Pedeville: (585) 328-3228 ext. 1215 or (800) 388-7177 ext. 1215.

1. Cases concluded canonically by dismissal or prayer and penance. The clerics whose names are included in this section,  at the end of a canonical process, either have been dismissed from the clerical state or assigned to a life of prayer and penance, with no public ministry possible

Thomas Burr  Prayer and Penance

Thomas Corbett  Prayer and Penance

Eugene Emo  Dismissed from the clerical state

Robert Hammond Prayer and Penance

William Lum  Prayer and Penance

Dennis Sewar Dismissed from the clerical state

David Simon   Prayer and Penance

Francis Vogt   Prayer and Penance

Robert Winterkorn Prayer and Penance

2. Cases concluded canonically by voluntary laicization. Laicization is a canonical process whereby the cleric voluntarily requests that he be separated from the clerical state.  Included in this section are the names of priests who sought laicization after being accused of the sexual abuse of a minor.

Albert Cason

Paul Cloonan

Gerard Guli

Joseph Larrabee

Foster Rogers

3. Cases not yet resolved canonically. Included in this section are the names of priests where canonical proceedings remain to be completed. In each case, the cleric involved has been removed from public ministry and remains on administrative leave.

Vincent Panepinto

Paul Schnacky

Dennis Shaw

Conrad Sundholm

Michael Volino

4. Complaints unresolved due to death of accused cleric. This section includes the names of deceased clergy for whom criminal or canonical proceedings were not completed because the cleric died, but the existence of allegations has been publicized.

David Gramkee

Robert O’Neill

John Steger

5. Complaints received after the death of a cleric and publicized.

David Bonin


Sexual Abuse Victim Arrested For Possessing Child Pornography

Rochester (NY)

16 May 2005


Jane Flasch (Rochester, NY) 05/16/05 — A man who was sexually abused by a Rochester priest as a teenager has recently been arrested and accused of possessing child pornography. There are also indications that the case may be tied to the arrest of another Rochester priest, who faces similar charges.

When Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies arrested [redacted] on March 3, he was carrying a blue bag filled with floppy discs that contained images of child pornography. Police sources confirm that one picture depicted the children engaged in sex acts who appear to be 10 or 11 years old.

[redacted] has pleaded not guilty and when reached at his house in Greece, said he had no comment.

In 1997, he accused a Rochester Roman Catholic priest of sexually molesting him in the rectory of Our Lady Of Mercy. The Rev. William Lum later admitted to the crime and pleaded guilty.

Sources close to the investigation say [redacted] admitted to possessing the pornography. He also claims to have kept tabs on Lum and mentioned another priest the Rev. Michael Volino.


More on Clergy Scandals at St. Paul’s University 

St. Paul’s said to be “a curious sort of revolving door” for problem priests


12 September 2002

OTTAWA, September 12, 2002 ( – Following LifeSite’s Aug. 12 report on the history of scandals related to some priests at Ottawa’s St. Paul’s University, additional disturbing revelations have been published in the August 29 edition of the U.S. Wanderer newspaper.

The Wanderer interviewed Ottawa Catholic Sylvia MacEachern, who has closely followed the St. Paul’s situation for many years. MacEachern told the Wanderer that St. Paul’s is “a curious sort of revolving door” for priests with sexual, spiritual or theological problems. She also alleges that there has been an inordinate number of problem priests in the classes of canon lawyers and liturgists “who go from west to east in Canada, from the United States to Canada, and Europe and Africa to Canada, many of whom seem to be either running or hiding.”

MacEachern relates the case of “Fr. Martin Wayne, a convicted pedophile from the diocese of Peterborough, Ont. who was sent to St. Paul for a canon law degree and now works for the tribunals of Ottawa and Peterborough, and Fr. William Lum, a judge for the diocese of Rochester’s tribunal, who was sent to St. Paul’s for advanced studies in canon law after he was exposed as a molester.” Lum was one of six priests recently suspended by Rochester’s Bishop Matthew Clark.

Also mentioned by MacEachern is “Msgr. Richard Boll., chancellor of the diocese of London (Ont.), who was exposed as a sexual molester at the same time he was testifying on behalf of the diocese” in the Fr. Barry Glendenning civil suit. She states that “another prominent spokesman for the homosexual movement in the Church in the U.S., Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P., received his degree in canon law from St. Paul’s in the early 60’s.

In 1989, says MacEachern, St. Paul’s celebrated its centennial with special guest lectures by prominent dissenters from Catholic teaching.

In its October 22 edition, the Wanderer comments further on the Case of Fr. John Huels, reported in the Aug. 12 LifeSite news. It states that the Ottawa Citizen reported on August 10 that officials at St. Paul’s University knew that Huels was an accused homosexual molester when he was hired. “One of those officials”, says the Wanderer “was Fr. Francis Morrisey, Canada’s pre-eminent canonist.”

Michael Bland, whose exposure of Fr. Huels led to Huel’s resignation from St. Paul’s, is quoted by the Citizen as stating “I’ve been told that Fr. Francis Morrisey knew about Fr. Huel’s history, when he was hired five years ago.” Fr. Morissey declined to comment to the Citizen about the allegations made by Bland. Fr. Morrisey, notes the Wanderer, “helped alleged molester Fr. Joseph Bukoski, canon lawyer for the Diocese of Honolulu chart the process for excommunicating five critics of former Bishop Joseph Ferrario.”

CBS news reported on May 23 “Hawaii’s Joseph Ferrario in 1989 was the first U.S. bishop accused of molestation. His accuser sued, but a court dismissed it as too late. Ferrario denied the charges and retired early in 1993.”…


Clark Forces 3 Priests to Quit

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

03 May 2002

By Jay Tokasz

Three Catholic priests continued working in Rochester-area churches for more than two decades despite credible allegations that they had sexually abused teenagers.

Prodded by grieving victims and facing complaints of a cover-up, Bishop Matthew H. Clark, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, on Thursday asked for, and received, their resignations.

The three priests were placed on administrative leave. Two other priests – disciplined in the 1990s amid allegations of sexual misconduct but still working in administrative jobs – were removed from those posts.

And a sixth priest, who is retired, was told he will not be able to continue in any form of ministry.

Clark announced the resignations in response to a Democrat and Chronicle request for specific information about several of the priests.

Clark said “the swirl of publicity” around sexual abuse led victims to contact the diocese and ultimately forced the bishop, over the past two months, to review personnel files.

Since January, a scandal has engulfed the Roman Catholic church, particularly in the United States, where at least 177 priests of about 47,000 nationwide have resigned or been dismissed from ministry amid allegations.

Victims and victims’ advocates said the actions of the Rochester diocese are too little, too late.

“The diocese and the church have known of these problems for many years, and taking action now strikes me as nothing more than an exercise in damage control,” said a Saratoga County woman whose son recently complained to the diocese about one of the priests, the Rev. Foster Rogers.

Until Thursday, Rogers was the pastor of St. Pius X Church in Chili.

The woman said her son was molested in 1975 when he was a 16-year-old parishioner at Church of the Assumption in Fairport.

“Were it not for public scrutiny, I think this would not have happened,” said a Monroe County man who complained to the diocese about Rogers in 1993, years after he was allegedly abused. “Why did Matthew Clark decide to go back into the files 10 years later?”

John Aretakis, an Albany lawyer who has worked on several clergy abuse cases, said the actions of church leaders were “spin” intended to make the diocese look as if it were moving quickly to remove problem priests.

“They’re just acting so late, and I think it’s meaningless,” said Aretakis, who represents Paul Hearty in a lawsuit against the Rev. William Lum.

Lum was convicted in 1992 of molesting Hearty, who then sued the priest and the diocese. A state appellate court dismissed the suit against the diocese, but Lum may still face a civil trial.

Lum was removed Thursday from his post as a judge on the diocesan tribunal, a department of diocesan headquarters that reviews marriages, annulments and remarriages.

Clark said all of the abuse allegations against the three priests stemmed from the mid-1970s and involved teenagers, some male, some female.

He would not provide specifics about the abuse, other than to call it molestation.

None of the cases could be criminally prosecuted because they fall outside the statute of limitations.

The priests had acknowledged their misconduct and were treated and returned to ministry. Clark said he was not aware of any credible allegations against them since the 1970s.

“I have their word that there aren’t any other instances to be concerned about.”

Why did the diocese dismiss the priests now? Clark said it was in the best interests of the victims and in ensuring the safety of the community.

The bishop offered his “deepest apology to anyone who has been harmed by these priests or any other.”

The abuses occurred while Bishop Joseph Hogan was head of the diocese. Clark did not review priests’ personnel files when he became bishop in 1979.

“It never occurred to me to explore personnel files of this diocese. I wanted to look at everybody with fresh eyes,” he said.

Besides, he added, “It would have been offensive in my mind to review the work of my predecessor without cause.”

In 1993, on the heels of a sexual abuse scandal in Louisiana, the Rochester diocese adopted what was viewed by many Roman Catholics nationwide as a tough, progressive policy on handling sexual abuse allegations.

Nevertheless, no review of parish priests was conducted.

“I didn’t think of it. Perhaps I should have, but I didn’t,” Clark said.

Societal understanding of sexual abuse and its impact on children has expanded since the 1970s, he said.

At that time, the diocese relied on contemporary research and the wisdom of the psychiatric community in determining whether priests who sexually abused children could continue in ministry.

Sexual abuse then was considered a “moral lapse” from which which priests could move on after being disciplined and doing penance, said the Rev. Joseph Hart, vicar general for the diocese.

People didn’t understand the grievous impact of these acts on children, said Clark. “There’s an awareness today of the horror that this causes in a child’s spirit that was not there back then. It’s an incredibly deep and lasting trauma for people.”

The six priests – Rogers, Lum, the Rev. Thomas Burr, the Rev. David Simon, the Rev. Thomas Corbett and the Rev. Robert O’Neill – cannot participate in any ministry, wear clerical clothing or reside in parish or diocesan housing.

They will be able to receive a diocesan pension and health coverage through the diocese.

Also on Thursday, Clark said he would report to legal authorities any allegations of sexual misconduct brought to the attention of the diocese – a change in policy.

Clark had resisted doing so because he worried that some victims would not come forward with such a policy in place.

But he said other victims have described reporting as “very important to the health of our community.”

“I recognize that times are changing and the church, as always, needs to respond and reform,” he said.

For help

Anyone who has further concerns or who would like to report any incident of sexual misconduct may call Barbara Pedeville at (585) 328-3228, ext. 215, or the Rev. Robert Ring at (315) 536-7459. The toll-free number for the diocesan Pastoral Center is (800) 388-7177.

Accused priests

Nine priests accused of sexual misconduct in the past have been under investigation or review in recent weeks by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester. Here is the status of their cases:

? Three active priests have resigned at Bishop Matthew H. Clark’s request:

– the Rev. Foster Rogers, 62, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Chili.

– the Rev. David Simon, 61, pastor of St. Paul Church in Webster.

– the Rev. Thomas Burr, 67, pastor of St. Mary Our Mother Church in Horseheads, Chemung County.

? One retired priest will be unable to continue in any form of ministry. The Rev. Robert O’Neill, 65, former pastor of St. Christopher Church in North Chili, will not be allowed to say Mass, administer sacraments or even wear clerical clothing or reside in any parish or diocesan dwelling.

? Two priests, already on administrative leave, face further restrictions. The Rev. William Lum, 58, and the Rev. Thomas Corbett, 62, may not continue their nonministerial assignments at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, wear clerical clothing or reside in any parish or diocesan dwelling.

? Three priests are under investigation by an advisory panel of diocesan staff members and lay professionals. Since March, the panel has been looking into allegations against two of the priests; allegations against a third were made just this week. The identities of those priests have not been disclosed.


The Rev. Paul Shanley faces three counts of child rape. Shanley is accused of raping a young boy in the 1980s when he was a priest in Boston, 4A


Priest resignations

Diocesan boundaries

1 The Rev. Foster Rogers, pastor of St. Pius X Church, Chili.

2 The Rev. David Simon, pastor of St. Paul Church, Webster.

3 The Rev. Thomas Burr, pastor of St. Mary Our Mother Church, Horseheads.


Rochester Diocese Forces Three Priests out of Ministry

Associated Press State & Local Wire

May 2, 2002


Three priests suspected of sexually abusing teen-age children more than 20 years ago have been banished from the pulpit in the Roman Catholic diocese of Rochester, Bishop Matthew Clark said Thursday.

The pastors, two serving in suburban Rochester and one near Elmira, resigned at the bishop’s request and were placed on indefinite administrative leave. In addition, two other priests disciplined in the 1990s were dismissed from clerical jobs in the western New York diocese.

“Bishop Clark has decided that any priest against whom credible allegations of sexual misconduct are made cannot continue in any form of ministry,” the diocese said.

In a review of diocesan files, church officials discovered that allegations of sexual abuse had been made against three priests more than 20 years ago “and all involved inappropriate behavior with teens,” the diocese said.

At the time, diocesan leaders relied on “the prevailing contemporary literature and wisdom of the psychiatric community in determining whether the men were able to continue in ministry,” it said.

Although no further complaints about the priests have surfaced since then, Clark said “it simply would not be reasonable or responsible to allow them to continue in their assignments.”

The priests are the Rev. Thomas Burr, pastor of St. Mary our Mother Church in Horseheads, which lies 8 miles northwest of Elmira; the Rev. Foster Rogers of St. Pius X Church in Chili, a Rochester suburb; and the Rev. David Simon of St. Paul Church in the Rochester suburb of Webster.

Abuse victims had called the diocese with concerns that those priests were still in active ministry. Details of the alleged offenses were not disclosed.

“The focal point of our diocesan policy remains providing healing to victims and ensuring the safety of our community,” the bishop said. “I offer my deepest apology to anyone who has been harmed by these priests, or any other.”

In April, the religious education director of a Rochester church was dismissed after officials said they discovered evidence that he abused a boy in the late 1980s while at a previous job. And a chaplain resigned from an Elmira hospital after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused a teen-age girl in Ohio in the 1970s.

The 12-county Rochester diocese, which serves 338,000 Catholics, has about 140 active diocesan priests, plus 95 other priests who are retired, disabled or temporarily serving outside the diocese.

The bishop also barred a retired priest, the Rev. Robert O’Neill, from holding any form of church ministry. O’Neill resigned as pastor of St. Christopher Church in North Chili last June, citing health problems, but allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior have since been levied against him, the bishop said.

He also removed the Rev. William Lum and the Rev. Thomas Corbett from administrative jobs at the diocesan tribunal office. They had been relieved of their ministries and placed on leave in the 1990s after being investigated for sexual misconduct.

3 Responses to Lum: Father William Lum

  1. Sylvia says:

    Hearty’s molester, Father William Lum, was in Ottawa pursuing advanced studies in Canon Law at St. Paul University AFTER his conviction.  Lum’s name was on the Accused list.  I have just added a page with a little more information.

    I often wonder how many unwitting Catholics in the Ottawa area fell prey to the known clerical predators who were shipped off to St. Paul’s to study ?  I wonder too how many were taken in for studies by the Oblate administrators and/or professors with full knowledge of their background? 

  2. Leona says:

    Bishop Clark said ‘it never occurred to me to review the personnel files.’ Perhaps Archbishop Prendergast and all Canadian catholic bishops need to be called upon to review the personnel files to give parishioners a guarantee that no priests who have been convicted or who have credible allegations against them are working in the ministry in any capacity. 

    It is interesting to note that Bishop Clark says in the 70’s the church relied on the ‘wisdom of the psychiatric community’ that these priest could be rehabilitated. check out the timeline on bishop that shows a letter from the Paracleets in the 1950’s saying they understood there was no rehabilitation and that the priest should never be put in ministry again.

  3. Sylvia says:

    I made mention of this in a post quite some time ago Leona.

    Your comment prompted me to dig out an article which describes very well the attempts of Father Gerald Fitzgerald to have these clerical predators laicized or shipped off to an island.

    03 March 2009: Bishops were warned of abusive priests

    Father Fitzgerald was squeezed out by those intent on recycling predatory clergy.  His spiritual and common sense solutions to predatory clergy were not well received by those who had  become intent on defending and/or excusing the indefensible.  His words of wisdom live on.

    I believe I have the letters saved somewhere.  I will look for them later – if found I will post them.  I also have a book somewhere which details this good priest’s trials and tribulations.  May he rest in peace.

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